- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 22, 2020

OSAGE, Iowa — Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., said Wednesday he won’t agree to appear as a witness before the Senate as part of a testimony swap with Republicans in President Trump’s impeachment trial.

Mr. Biden was asked at a town hall event here whether he has considered calling the “Republicans’ bluff” by agreeing to testify in the Senate as long as Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo testified before him.

“They are playing this game,” Mr. Biden said. “What Trump has done his whole career, whenever he is in trouble, he tries to blame somebody else, divert attention.”

“This is a constitutional issue and we are not going to turn it into a farce — some kind of political theater,” he said. “They are trying to turn it into a political theater.”

Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter, have emerged as central figures in the debate over witnesses in Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial.

The impeachment articles charge Mr. Trump with using his power to prod Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden and his son Hunter, who held a cushy job on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

On Wednesday, Mr. Biden once again defended his son’s activity.

“He said it was a mistake for him having done it because he didn’t count on thugs like [Rudy] Guilliani and others using it as a means to hurt his father,” Mr. Biden said.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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